Computing


Head of Department:
Support Staff: Mr. S Hodder (Senior Technician) Mr. S Jones (Technician), Mr. T Stewart (Technician)
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

Our Faculty Mission

Continuing with our mission as a Catholic school being summed up in the words of our motto: In Christ we Flourish. For our young people this means that we want them to flourish as rounded individuals in a learning environment which is explicitly Christian and allows their God-given gifts and abilities to grow and develop. As part of this, the Computing faculty not only try to make sure that all government curriculum requirements are completely satisfied, we try to make sure that students are well prepared for the digital age we now find ourselves in.

The study of ICT and Computing is vital in giving our pupils a knowledge and understanding of the rapidly expanding world of digital communications. Students need to develop an awareness of health and safety issues when using equipment and applications including the use of the internet, the protection of data and the consideration of copyright. We also aim to develop a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in our pupils when using any form of ICT. We are committed to making our lessons relevant using the new Computing curriculum as a basis from which we strive for excellence to meet and exceed our targets.

We aim to maintain a high quality of teaching and learning in Computing which will prepare students for life outside of school and in their future life in the world be it of work or further study.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

At Key Stage 3 Computing, we focus on computational thinking, programming, problem solving, E-safety, spreadsheets and databases. In years 7-9 students study in double lessons every fortnight for half the year before swapping to Food Technology and vice versa.

Year 7

Term 1
E-safety
Scratch Programming – Maze Game
Term 2
Scratch Programming – Maze Game
Spreadsheets
Term 3
Databases

Year 8

Term 1
E-safety
HTML & Web Page Creation
Term 2
HTML & Web Page Creation
Spreadsheets
Term 3
Spreadsheets

Year 9

Term 1
Scratch Programming – Tin Ally Game
Term 2
Visual Basic (.net) Programming
Term 3
Visual Basic (.net) Programming

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course: OCR GCSE Computer Science (9-1) – Course Code: J276
Exam Board Specification: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/225975-specification-accredited-gcse-computer-science-j276.pdf

Computing GCSE focuses students on the technical aspects of IT with a specific emphasis on computer programming. For this reason students who have a particular strength in logic/mathematics will enjoy the course. Students use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies.

Through this study of computer programming, the course will help learners develop critical thinking, analysis, problem solving skills and computational thinking. In this way, the course will stimulate interest and engagement with technology and technology-related careers.

If learners want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of Computer Science, they will find that this course provides a superb stepping stone.

This course is technical in its approach and elements of Mathematics are included.

The course consists of 3 units two of which are theory and are examined by a written paper (40% each) and there is one coursework, controlled assessment unit (20%).

Year 10 & 11

Paper 1: Computer systems (40% overall grade)

Units:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Memory
  • Storage
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Network topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (40% overall grade)

Units:

  • Algorithms
  • Programming techniques
  • Producing robust programs
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of Languages
  • Data representation

NEA – Non Exam Assessment – Programming project (20% overall grade)

Students’ programming ability will be internally assessed controlled assessment that will be done mostly in lesson time and will take up 20 hours.

What is assessed?

  • Programming techniques
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and evaluation and conclusions

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Computing AQA 7516 & 7517
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517

This course is academically rigorous and would suit students who have an aptitude for Mathematics and logic. As such there is a minimum requirement of a grade B at GCSE Mathematics. This is however negotiable depending on individual students’ circumstances. GCSE Computing is not a prerequisite although it would be highly beneficial.

This course has a high degree of creativity, especially during the A2 course where students get to design and build their own software system to solve a real-life problem. Many students benefit from being able to talk about and demonstrate such a project at university or job interviews.

This course has been designed to provide candidates with a critical understanding of problem solving, programming, data representation and the systems development lifecycle. Students also study computer systems, hardware elements of computers, machine level architecture, hardware devices, the structure of the internet, web page design and the consequences of uses of Computing.

There is a clear distinction between this specification and the GCE ICT and GCE in Applied ICT specifications in that there is a high degree of mathematics, logic and computer programming.

Year 12 (7516)

Unit 1: Paper 1 –

50% AS or 40% A-Level – On Screen Exam

Unit 2: Paper 2 –

50% AS or 40% A-Level – Written paper

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of communication and networking

Year 13 (7517)

Unit 1: Paper 1 –

40% A-Level – On Screen Exam

Unit 2: Paper 2 –

40% A-Level – Written paper

Unit 3: NEA – Practical Project

20% A Level only – Internally assessed project.

Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of communication and networking
Fundamentals of databases
Big data
Fundamentals of functional programming
Systematic approach to problem solving
Computing practical project.

Useful Links:

http://www.teach-ict.com/
https://scratch.mit.edu/
https://www.codecademy.com/
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computer-science-j276-from-2016/
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517

Computing News